Ed Brubaker's run on Daredevil concludes; four scans from Daredevil #500.
These last few issues have been a bit more widely spaced than usual, but this one has a double-length main story, and Lark has been tremendously productive overall, so I think he can be forgiven taking a bit of time on these last few (be interested to see what he does next; nothing's been announced).
Anyway, Daredevil rescues Dakota from the Owl (and cripples the Owl with a katana), while Master Izo turns out to have been playing the long game with Black Tarantula, whose healing process eventually cleansed the Hand's infection (he then does the same for White Tiger).
Daredevil and Izo head off to confront the Kingpin, who is meeting with the Council of Four (the Ninja-Lords of the Hand, short one member since Skrull-Elektra died), who are now offering him the leadership of their organization.
We get some snippets of Izo's backstory here: he was one of the founding members of the Hand several hundred years ago, who left soon after the death of the great leader, because the Hand was becoming the Hand we're now familiar with (the leader was apparently blind, and Izo blinded himself in turn to see like he did; Brubaker seems to be revisiting the idea that Stick brought up in Miller's run that everybody has the ability to see like Daredevil if they wanted to). He then founded the Chaste, but was voted out in favour of Stick about sixty years ago because he was a drunken gambler that everybody found disgraceful.
They bust into the ceremony, where Kingpin has already killed Lord Hiroshi, one of the Four, since he ordered the murders of Marta and her kids. Daredevil pummels Lady B, and then captures one of the...I guess it would be Three now.
Izo's a very cool addition to the mythos, I have to say. Also, I like that she's still around; writers tend to whack the new villains they create these days.
Matt leaves a note telling Foggy and Dakota to put his stuff in storage, because he won't be around for a while. Now, with Black Tarantula and White Tiger backing him, he begins the challenges to fully assume the job (and, for the first time in a while, he prays, which heartens him; it's an oddly hopeful way to end things).
I (and many others) though that Matt would end up taking the leadership of the Hand, but Brubaker's usually less about destination than the story there, and this was a good ending. Also, the Izo stuff was genuinely unexpected.
Looking back at his run, "The Devil in Cell-Block D" is one of the best Daredevil stories ever; the next year-and-a-half (Daredevil in Europe, Daredevil vs. Mister Fear) was a lot less interesting (though the latter stories reads a lot better collected than in singles; one of Brubaker's rare failures of pacing). Beginning with the Greg Rucka co-written story and then through "Lady Bullseye" and "The Return of the King", things really revived and ended on a high note.